Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) torched Ulinzi Warriors 71-50 to take a 2-1 series lead in the Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) men's playoff finals tie at Nyayo National Stadium gymnasium on Saturday.
The porters got this Game Three off to just the start they needed after a three pointer by Lennox Wanje. They piled on the points as the soldiers struggled to hit the target.
With just over a minute to the end of the quarter, KPA sailed away to a comfortable 20-4 cushion. They hanged on 20-8 at the end of the stanza.
Victor Odendo nailed a three pointer from the wing to open the third quarter but Eric Mutoro swifty replied with one of his own.
Another trey by Odendo made it a 28-15 scoreline before Ken Wachira hit a basket and followed it with a three pointer for 33-17 KPA lead. Ulinzi trailed 37-18 at the break.
"This was the fruit of our hard work during trainings. We have trained well and played good defense. We also do better on offense. If we pick up from where we left, we will be okay,” said KPA coach Sammy Kiki.
Wachira turned on the show as the third quarter got underway drilling three consecutive treys, two from the top of the key for a 46-23 advantage.
"My teammates trust me when I start making those shots. My mind set was in the game and they started giving me the ball. I just had to finish,” said Wachira.
With 4:00 to play in this quarter, Job Byron rebounded a Wanje miss inside and easily connected as KPA build a 50-25 margin.
Wachira fed Nick Ogol for an easy basket, he again stole a wayward Ulinzi pass and drove for a 61-33 edge that marked the end of the stanza.
Ogol got the fourth quarter off where he ended the third, scoring from the line for a 63-33 edge that dampen Ulinzi spirits.
Halfway through the last quarter, KPA had sailed away 65-40 as Ulinzi suffered a blow following the injury of Joseph Owino .
Ulinzi coach William Balozi blamed their loss on poor start but said KPA were the better team.
"Today nothing worked for us. We started off badly and ended it badly. We couldn't balance the court and box out."
He went on, "We are normally a good three lint shooting team but none of our shots went in. It was just a bad day in office."
Wachira recorded 19 points and Ogol tallied 14 for KPA. Ulinzi had 10 a piece from James Mwangi and Jose Khaemba. -